The Ten Most Common Mistakes When Designing a Business Equality Plan and How to Avoid Them
The calculation of workers, the negotiation process, Group plans, the negotiation committee, diagnosis, audits, duration, scope, registration or deadlines are aspects in which companies can commit mistakes in designing the Equality Plan
BY RRHHDigital, 12:15 – 12 February 2021
On March 7, 2021, all companies with more than 100 employees are required to have equality plans in accordance with Royal Decree Law 6/2019, which sets fines between 626 and 6,250 euros for those that do not. . Likewise, gradually, companies with 50 to 100 employees are also obliged, so that those which reach these thresholds are currently negotiating equality plans, in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 901/2020. This circumstance has led the Labor Law Department of Alemany, Escalona & De Fuentes to, on the basis of its experience in the matter, draw up a list of the most frequent mistakes that companies usually make when drawing up these plans.
According to the firm’s experts, these types of errors are generally related to the counting of workers, the negotiation process, Group plans, the negotiation committee, diagnosis, audits, duration, scope, registration or deadlines. Eva Hernndez, head of the firm’s labor law department, explains in detail these errors and how to avoid them:
Worker count. To determine the obligation or not to prepare the equality plan, the calculation must be carried out, at least, in the months of June and December of each year. It is a mistake to calculate only the total workforce at the date of its preparation. The right thing to do is to add to this model the fixed-term contracts which, having been in force in the company during the previous six months, have expired during their calculation (every 100 days worked will be counted as a more worker). In the particular case of user companies which employ temporary staff, it would be a mistake not to take them into account for the purposes of the calculation. It is necessary to include agency workers, both those who provide their services on the date of preparation of the equality plan and those who have done so within the previous six months. Negotiation process. Certain deadlines are set for the preparation of the equality plan. There is a maximum period of three months to start the negotiation process from the number of people in the labor market that would require an equality plan and a maximum period of one year to negotiate, approve and submit the request for ‘recording of the plan. At the registry, it must be presented within 15 days of signing. While it would be better to reach an agreement on the content of the equality plan during the negotiation process, it is not wrong to present it without an agreement, as long as the deadlines are exhausted if, after negotiating in good faith , the recommended agreement was not reached. Group equality plan. The possibility of implementing Group Equality Plans is accepted, but the prior analysis of each member company is essential. It is a mistake to assume that if only one of the companies that make up the Group is required to draw up an Equality Plan, this Plan can be unilaterally extended to the rest of the Group. In addition to duly justifying the convenience of carrying out a Group Equality Plan, the activity of each company and the specific collective agreements that are applied in each of them must be taken into account separately. It is essential to abandon the idea that the unitary representation that may exist in one of these companies will have legitimacy in the rest of the companies in the Group. The negotiating committee must be well constituted, even if separately the companies do not reach the number of employees for which the law requires them to have an equality plan, they must all be represented. In addition, all Group companies are required to have a well-analyzed diagnosis, one for each business unit, so that specific measures can be considered taking into account the different features of each. Negotiating committee. In the absence of legal representation, the unions most representative of the sector to which the company belongs will be included in the committee with legitimacy to be part of the negotiating committee of the application agreement. It is a mistake to consider the unitary representation as a valid interlocutor for all cases. Thus, in companies without unitary representation, or with certain work centers in which there is such a representation of workers (works council or employee representatives) and others in which there is none, there is It will not be enough to constitute an ad hoc committee in the company or the centers without representation, but having to go to a trade union committee, that is to say that such representation should be requested from the unions considered to be the most representative in their respective fields. If you want to set up a voluntary Equality Plan, because the company does not meet the conditions to make it compulsory, it is not possible to apply to an ad hoc committee, but also to this union committee. . This is a radical and fundamental change when the equality plan is to be negotiated, for which the regulation itself indicates that external support and advice will be available. Diagnosis The minimum content of the diagnosis is included in the standard with particular reference to the job evaluation system (SVP) for working with a gender perspective, as well as vertical segregation. The development of the diagnosis is mistakenly confused with the simple collection of data, this phase being much more complex, since it aims to deepen the analysis of the information. The regulations contain a detailed list of the minimum content of the equality plan and of the previous diagnosis (for example, that relating to the under-representation of women in certain positions in the SVP). Compensation audits and measures to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment. The standard obliges them to be carried out in all cases and to be included in the equality plan. This documentation is not optional, but is regulated in all cases, whether or not there is an obligation to sign an equality plan. Often its imperative character is confused. It is not only produced for companies with an equality plan. RD 902/2020 and Organic Law 3/2007 refer to this question, reciprocally. Duration of equality plans. It is not undefined. It is a mistake to think that once the equality plan is negotiated, its validity does not expire. The duration is four years and an annual review is required with the corresponding explanatory report on the implementation of the measures included therein. scope. The remuneration file affects all staff. The subjective scope is very broad. It would be a mistake to apply it only to the staff of the agreement. Also included are managerial staff and managerial positions. Recording. The standard imposes the obligation to register the equality plan in a public register. Again, it is a very common mistake to understand that there is only the obligation to register in companies with more than 50 workers. This obligation will apply not only to equality plans required by law, but also to those which have been voluntarily decided to develop, with or without agreement, with express reference to established codes (i.e. say voluntary, mandatory, with or without agreement). Existing equality plans. Revision and timely adaptation are mandatory. Having an equality plan in place at this stage should not lead us to understand that none of these elements apply. On the contrary, it must be adapted to the content of the regulations within a maximum period of 12 months, after a negotiation process.
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